Across a Great Divide
Publication Year: 2010
The contributors address a series of interlocking themes. Several consider the role of indigenous agency in the processes of colonial interaction, paying particular attention to gender and status. Others examine the ways long-standing native political economies affected, and were in turn affected by, colonial interaction. A third group explores colonial-period ethnogenesis, emphasizing the emergence of new native social identities and relations after 1500. The book also highlights tensions between the detailed study of local cases and the search for global processes, a recurrent theme in postcolonial research.
If archaeologists are to bridge the artificial divide separating history from prehistory, they must overturn a whole range of colonial ideas about American Indians and their history. This book shows that empirical archaeological research can help replace long-standing models of indigenous culture change rooted in colonialist narratives with more nuanced, multilinear models of change—and play a major role in decolonizing knowledge about native peoples.
Published by: University of Arizona Press
Download PDF (54.5 KB)
Download PDF (47.6 KB)
This book addresses colonial interactions in North America from the fifteenth century through the nineteenth century. The emphasis throughout the book is on interactions as opposed to one-way colonial effects. Historians and archaeologists often emphasize the impacts that colonizers have on the indigenous societies with which they collide. ...
1. Crossing Divides: Archaeology as Long-Term History
Download PDF (324.6 KB)
Few cultural and political events have stimulated as much debate among social scientists as the Columbian Quincentennial. For archaeologists especially, the 1992 commemoration of Columbus’s landfall in the New World provoked a wide-ranging and critical debate. At first, the discussion was largely reflexive and focused on the political context of...
2. Agency and Practice in Apalachee Province
Download PDF (156.4 KB)
In the spring of the year 1528, the Spanish conquistador P�nfilo de Narv�ez led an expedition of several hundred men into Apalachee ter-ritory (N��ez Cabeza de Vaca 1964). That event marked a profound transition in Apalachee history. Before Narv�ez, the Apalachee inhabited the Mississippian world; afterwards, they inhabited what James Merrell ...
3. Long-Term History, Positionality, Contingency, Hybridity: Does Rethinking Indigenous History Reframe the Jamestown Colony?
Download PDF (459.4 KB)
This chapter is concerned with the writing, and centering, of the long-term indigenous history of the Powhatan (Algonquian) and Monacan (Siouan) Indians of the Middle Atlantic/Chesapeake Bay region of North America (see fig. 3.1). The particular purpose of this chapter is to better understand long-term indigenous history in the Chesapeake region so as ...
4. When Moral Economies and Capitalism Meet: Creek Factionalism and the Colonial Southeastern Frontier
Download PDF (279.4 KB)
In the late summer and fall of 1811, the Shawnee leader Tecumseh brought the twin messages of a pan-Indian alliance with the British and the radical rejection of European goods and cultural practices to the Indians of the Southeast. Based on the teachings of his brother Tenskawatawa, the Shawnee Prophet, Tecumseh implored the Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, ...
5. Not Just “One Site Against the World”: Seneca Iroquois Intercommunity Connections and Autonomy, 1550–1779
Download PDF (269.1 KB)
Archaeologists studying American Indian peoples impacted by the post-1500 European expansion have been slow to acknowledge that in many situations, the political-economic power of Indian groups was equal to or even greater than that of European colonizers. Although such settings can be readily recognized in both the historical and ...
6. A Prophet Has Arisen: The Archaeology of Nativism among the Nineteenth-Century Algonquin Peoples of Illinois
Download PDF (280.7 KB)
In the introduction to this volume, Mitchell and Scheiber note that colonial discourse or the historical construction by Europeans of culturally biased narratives regarding non-Western peoples served to justify the social domination and material exploitation of colonized peoples. Such discourse was not simply a reflection of the dominant relationship of Europeans to such individuals and groups, but a...
7. Mountain Shoshone Technological Transitions across the Great Divide
Download PDF (337.1 KB)
Rapid replacement of indigenous material culture by European manufactured items is a long-held assumption about culture change in colonial contexts (Diamond 1997; Rodr�guez-Alegr�a 2008). This model assumes that passive Indian peoples and cultures were immediately and ultimately absorbed into dominant European society. In this chapter, we present a case study from...
8. The Plains Hide Trade: French Impact on Wichita Technology and Society
Download PDF (301.5 KB)
Archaeologists and ethnographers of the Great Plains commonly assume that European trade initiated fundamental organizational changes in native peoples’ traditional kin relations, divisions of labor, resource distribution, social equality, and so forth (Bonvillain 2001:192; Wood 1998:7–8). Yet seldom do scholars specify the timing and process of ...
9. “Like Butterflies on a Mounting Board”: Pueblo Mobility and Demography before 1825
Download PDF (223.5 KB)
Only recently have precedent and contingency emerged as concepts useful for understanding the historical experiences of ancestral and modern Pueblo1 peoples. For scholars of the era prior to the arrival of Europeans, there is now a recognition that historical experience and the field of choices it offered to Pueblo decision makers is perhaps more ...
10. The Diné at the Edge of History: Navajo Ethnogenesis in the Northern Southwest, 1500–1750
Download PDF (325.9 KB)
As archaeologists, how do we trace the changes and continuities in an emerging group identity over two-and-a-half centuries (1500–1750)? The challenge is that group identity, or ethnicity, is a moving category of us or them, with cultural boundaries, identities, and content in constant flux and open to renegotiation ...
11. A Cross-Cultural Study of Colonialism and Indigenous Foodways in Western North America
Download PDF (1.0 MB)
In the milieu of everyday household and community life, food practices are highly visible and pervasive reminders of individual and collective identity, ideology, and social status. Food is acquired, prepared, shared, and consumed multiple times every day, and food is often at the center of social interaction and cultural expression. Thus, it is perhaps no...
12. Identity Collectives and Religious Colonialism in Coastal Western Alaska
Download PDF (347.6 KB)
Colonialism was a stimulus to changed culture in native North America. No longer are descendent people portrayed as caught in an acculturative net but rather as constituents in the processes of change, mitigation, and resistance. As Sahlins states, colonial transformation is “externally induced yet indigenously orchestrated” (1985:viii). Agents of colonial ...
13. Crossing, Bridging, and Transgressing Divides in the Study of Native North America
Download PDF (153.4 KB)
The question of history looms large in this volume. How do we write indigenous histories alongside or entangled with colonist histories? At what scale do we write those histories? With what terms do we narrate such histories, and who gets to narrate them? How can these histories cross disciplinary and temporal boundaries? What role does and should ...
Download PDF (304.8 KB)
About the Contributors
Download PDF (67.8 KB)
Download PDF (132.4 KB)
Page Count: 103
Publication Year: 2010